Mom Who Lost 3 Daughters In Taconic Parkway Wrong-Way Wreck Is Pregnant

Jackie Hance Breaks Silence In Magazine Article, Speaks Of Road To Recovery

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Long Island woman whose three daughters were killed in the tragedy on the Taconic State Parkway two years ago is sharing her story for the first time.

Jackie Hance reveals how she’s coping with the enormous loss, and she’s sharing incredible news about her future, reports CBS 2’s Dana Tyler.

The tragedy was incomprehensible. On July 26, 2009, eight people were killed in Mount Pleasant, N.Y., after Diane Schuler, driving five children home to Long Island after a weekend camping trip, went the wrong way on the Taconic and crashed into an SUV. Schuler’s sister-in-law, Hance, was the mother of Emma, Alyson and Katie, ages 8, 7 and 5, respectively, who were all killed. Hance opened up recently to “Ladies Home Journal.” In an article “The Worst Has Happened: Life After The Death Of My Children,” Hance shares her daughter’s final fateful words.

“On the drive back home, Emma, our oldest, called us from the car and said ‘something is wrong with Aunt Diane,’” Hance told the magazine. “I heard the other children crying in the background and then the phone cut out.”

There was a call back and a call to 911, but it was too late. The Hance children, Schuler, her daughter and three men in the SUV were killed. Only Schuler’s son, now 7, survived. Families were shattered and neighbors were stunned.

4880756 Mom Who Lost 3 Daughters In Taconic Parkway Wrong Way Wreck Is Pregnant

The Schuler Family (credit: Handout)

“When something terrible happens, your brain simply can’t process it — or at least mine couldn’t.  For the first month I was so dazed with grief that I’d wander out of my room and out of the house at all hours. I don’t know what I was doing. Searching for the girls?” Hance said.

The Hance and Schuler families held funerals. A week later there was more stunning news for the grieving Floral Park couple. Toxicology reports revealed Schuler was driving with a blood-alcohol level double the legal limit and she’d been smoking marijuana. Hance says the extended family remains split.

“People always ask how I feel about Diane. How does a person go from being like a sister to me — adored by my girls and cherished by my husband — to being the one who ruined our lives? To not have any answers is torture,” Hance said.

She stopped going to church, though her faith has been restored in the kindness of strangers inspiring the Hances to set up a foundation in memory of their daughters.

“Parenting is not something you can ever let go of, even if your children are gone. Warren and I still celebrate the girls’ birthdays, just as we always did,” Hance said.

Hance had her tubes tied after Katie was born, but she decided to try in-vitro fertilization, calling it a message from God and her late daughters. Jackie and Warren Hance are expecting a baby this fall.

Jackie Hance told “Ladies Home Journal” she’s grateful for her friends and family who’ve gotten her through the worst and who first suggested that having a baby was what the girls would want and would give the couple a future.

She said people wonder how can a person go on after a tragedy like that. The answer is you have to.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Dana Tyler
  • United_N_Love

    I’ve said many prayers for the Hance family. I cannot imagine the pain they have endured and much at the hands of their own family members.

    May the birth of this new baby help to heal their hearts and return joy to their lives which they were so senselessly and carelessly robbed of in 2009.

    Move beyond the pain and take comfort in knowing your three angles smile upon you daily.

    Much Love & Blessings To You!!!
    From Tennessee

  • kdk

    I mean no disrespect, but where was God when these 8 people lost their lives? Was there a “reason” why this family needed to lose ALL THREE of their daughters? I can certainly see why she would lose her faith.

  • Ashley C.

    God bless your family and may you enjoy every second of your new angel.

  • Tricia

    My heart and prayers are with the Hance family. The loss of a child is all encompassing and so painful. This baby is a rainbow after their storm and will help her to move forward. God bless them all. ((hugs)) and love from Ohio.

  • Sam

    Even though she has left church.. God has not left her, by the mere fact that he has restored her so she can conceive again.. like Job God can restore what was taken away tenfold. The new baby is God’s handiwork..and a start to more blessings….

  • Terry Gingo McClinton

    I cannot even comprehend this..I am not sure if I would come out of it the way she has. What an inspiration!! If you have the heart for it…you can certainly live thru anything!
    I will think of these families a million times today. And they will always remain in my heart!

  • Micha

    Amazing strength! God never forgets us, even when its hard to see him through tragedy. God Bless this family!

  • MaCro

    Many prayers are going their way for a healthy, happy baby.

  • TT

    Thats great news! Prayers go out to you and your family :)

  • rick maio

    we are very happy for your girls and newbie on the way

  • Lee

    This is great news and inspiring that you can go on with life after such tragidy. I cannot even start to imagine what she went through. Their 3 little angels are watching over them. God Bless her and her family.

  • Rabbi Willie Wonkaberg

    God bless her and her family
    so cute

  • Vita David

    God Bless her…and her family…prayers for a safe delivery..that little one will have very special guardian angels….:-)

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